Further Evidence Top CB Won’t Be Available for Vikings in Draft
If the Minnesota Vikings want to outfit the 2022 depth chart with multiple Pro Bowl-tier LSU alumni, including Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, and Patrick Peterson, using the 1st Round of next week’s draft may not be the right spot to get richer.
For months, the Vikings have been linked to cornerbacks in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, a dire long-term need for the organization. First, it was Ahmad Gardner fostering all the craze for Vikings fans back in December and January. But after Gardner performed masterfully at the NFL Combine in March, a Minnesota pivot occurred toward Derek Stingley Jr. from LSU.
Yet, now Stingley Jr. is probably “too good” to remain on the board for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s 12th overall pick. Like Gardner, Stingley Jr.’s stock rose after a phenomenal Pro Day a few weeks ago, so the Vikings might have to pluck a different corner from the draft like Trent McDuffie or Andrew Booth Jr.
And the “not gonna happen” sentiment on Stingley Jr. intensified on Friday when ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller opined his feeling on the CB’s draft prognosis:
“Hottest name in the draft” six days before the event is not conducive to the Vikings hypothetical plans of selecting Stingley Jr. In fact, if the Vikings or the team’s fans earnestly wanted the man for the purple and gold team, “hottest name in the draft” is the worst possible phrase to hear in the draft leadup’s final days.
So, if you’re wondering why onlookers of the Vikings flocked to the aforementioned McDuffie last week, this is why. No matter what, Minnesota needs a cornerback in the early rounds of the draft to plan for the future. When free agency hits in 2023, for now, Cameron Dantzler is the only startable corner under contract. Patrick Peterson will be older, it is unclear who the Vikings will choose in this draft for the position, and men like Harrison Hand or Nate Hairston cannot be trusted as bonafide starters now — or in the future.
Stingley Jr. silenced anxiety about injury and ability as of late. And because he was so damn good in the 2019 season at LSU, NFL execs evidently believe that he and Gardner are talent bedfellows.
While drafts can indeed get weird, Vikings fans should warm up to other cornerbacks next week — because Stingley Jr. and Sauce are probably too good to fall down the board.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).